Input Music Smartwatches/Bands

Skin wearable music controller needs appeal that’s more than skin deep

Not many people would enjoy the idea of having to take out their smartphone while working out to change music. There’s a level of focus necessary to really get the most out of a workout, and doing that will definitely make sure it’s never achieved.

Swiss inventor Yves Steinmann’s Skin wearable hopes to make that small but annoying situation an afterthought. It’s a simple black wristband that uses Bluetooth to connect to a device in order to control music without an app.

Watches and Jewelry

Feelings Bangle displays your relationship status without electronic gadgets

For those who have become weary of the guessing game where a person’s dating status is concerned, here is a product that will allow emotions to be worn on the wrist. Feelings Bangle is a bracelet that lets the wearer to communicate whether or not they want romantic attention.

The silicone-looking wrist bands come in nine different colors, with a corresponding word for publicly displaying one’s status. A few of the options include ‘party animal’, ‘friend zone’, ‘in love’, and others. Perhaps the most amusing is the ‘complicated’ status… whatever that means. Too bad there’s not a line of these for gag gifts that say things like ‘loser’, ‘out to lunch’, or ‘gold digger’.

The bracelets are touted as being easily seen within 10 meters, and they can be personalized with charms or a small pendant. But even if this product actually catches on, it will probably still be necessary to have a good pickup line prepared. Interested backers might also like to check out myOki.

This campaign seeks to raise $42,000 by March 23. For $5, backers get one product with an expected delivery in July of this year.


Spark smartwatch provides spark you need to stay awake

Most people have been in a situation where staying awake is required, but can’t be done because of how tired they are. Alarm clocks and watches with alarms are all well and good, but people don’t always know that they will be falling asleep and will need to be awakened.

The Spark smartwatch addresses that issue. The watch tracks the wearer’s movement velocity and frequency, which claims to detect how alert the person is using an algorithm developed by its maker. If the device detects that the user has fallen asleep, it will gently vibrate to wake the person back up.

Spark holds some promise, especially for college students pulling all-nighters, but it’s not clear if its one main application will be enough of a reason for many consumers to find it a compelling proposition. Some consumers may not find the watch’s plain design appealing enough to wear it on their wrists. It lacks the style of a smartwatch like Moment. Health fans, meanwhile, will likely prefer to reserve the real estate on their wrists for smartwatches or bracelets offering fitness tracking features.

Spark will ship in May of this year to those who back $99. The campaign has a goal of raising $8,000 by March 12.

Connected Objects Health and Wellness

Track bites instead of calories with the Count Bites connected wristband

Counting calories is a drag. Common methods are usually pretty cumbersome, and apps don’t help as much as it seems. Plus, who likes having to do math every time they eat?

The Count Bites band and app aim to shift the user’s focus from calories to bites instead. While no one method is inherently superior, bites are far easier to track than hundreds of daily calories. Both the Bluetooth wristband and companion app feature a single button for tracking purposes, so dieters can use it to set goals and monitor portions over time. The campaign is looking to raise $25,000 by March 3, and have the $30 band shipped out in June of this year.

Although the campaign does admit to the potential of cheating, it insists that beginning a diet by focusing on reducing the amount of food rather than micromanaging the type of food being consumed is far more beneficial for those with a BMI over 25. Instead of other fitness bands like the Jaha or Arcus that keep fit people fit, Count Bites seems like it could be a good fit for a larger swath of the population that doesn’t have the healthiest of habits.

Tech Accessories Wearables

EveryKey looks like Jawbone UP, logs you in or out

We’re constantly faced with the reality that our personal or intellectual property can be stolen at any time. That’s why we walk around with tons of keys in our pockets and passwords in our heads to avoid just that. EveryKey works to consolidate all of that into one neat package that you can wear on your wrist. The silicon band uses Bluetooth LE technology to unlock both your physical and digital locks for you. Bikes, apartments, cars and other controlled access devices open up when in range of EveryKey. Similarly, passwords stored on the band allow you to login to your computer, phone or tablet. This smartband uses military-grade encryption so that you’re always protected from hackers. It’s water-resistant and charges via a micro USB port to USB cable. The battery lasts for up to 30 days.

Of course, with any all-encompassing device there’s convenience and risk that it’ll fall into the wrong hands. The folks at EveryKey have addressed this concern by allowing for deactivation of the device online if lost. All locks and passwords are still able to be open with regular keys and codes, adding more convenience if EveryKey is left behind at home or lost. The campaign says that the creators really focused on fashion when creating this product. While it comes in lots of different colors, it’s not the most vogue of devices, but not the clunkiest either. For those who are familiar with the FitBit, EveryKey bears a striking resemblance.

We’ve seen devices with some of these same capabilities like the Skylock which allows for wireless entry into your bike. While this product is limited in its range, only compatible with bikes, it comes with the added perk of letting the user know if their property is being tampered with. Perhaps such a feature would be a great addition to the EveryKey in later models. Still, this product is well thought out and a great addition to the smart security market. Backers can enjoy their own for $50 by March 2015, not a bad price at all. EveryKey is looking to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter.

Connected Objects Wearables

Magnet provides a touch of reassurance to remote lovers

While we can’t be with our loved ones all the time, we can still say hi to them through e-mail, text or phone calls. We can see them with the help of Skype, Google Hangout or FaceTime. However, we can’t touch them when separated. Magnet offers the next best thing. Worn as either a wristband or necklace, Magnet lets you communicate with your partner through touch. Each person wears their Magnet and connects to the accompanying app. Using Bluetooth LE technology, you can touch your Magnet in a certain pattern, say three short taps. That same pattern is then transmitted to its partner, lighting up and vibrating in the same sequence.

With Magnet, you can send little coded messages to whomever you’d like and it’s just like you’re touching them. This product comes in four different colors with the choice of different kinds of necklaces or wristbands to go with it. While Magnet seems like one of those sentimental items that some of us may scoff at, it’s actually a very sweet idea, capturing the beauty of an intimate relationship from far away. For $138, any couple can get a pair of Magnets for estimated delivery in July 2015, provided the creators reach their $60,000 goal on Kickstarter.

Cell Phone Accessories Wearables

Tiny Ditto phone accessory alerts with good vibrations

Sadly, a roundtable of friends at a restaurant staring at their screens instead of at one other is a common sight to see. Critics point to scenarios like this as an example social deterioration, but Simple Matters likes to think they have a solution that’s both simple and elegant. Called Ditto, the device is billed as the anti-gadget that will get eyes away from screens so that people can focus more on real life and all the interactions that enrich it. By pairing the device using Bluetooth LE to a smartphone or tablet, users can customize who or what is important enough to reach them and doing so eliminates those pesky ghost vibrations that are felt every so often. It can be discretely placed anywhere from undergarments to the small pocket of a pair of jeans as its small, pebble-like shape comes complete with a built-in clip, so users will always be sure to feel the Ditto and the important events associated with it.

Ditto’s minimalist aesthetic fits a wide variety of lifestyles and can come in handy for those who truly want to separate themselves from the many screens in our lives. The similar Amiloom aims to get people away from their phones by connecting friends with an app, but Ditto really goes for the root of the problem by blocking intrusive notifications. Simple Matters is looking for $100,000 for this noble effort. If they succeed, backers can expect the $29 device to be at their door in March of 2015.


KUFF is tough, lets you wear your files where you flex

With mounting concerns about privacy in the cloud, many people are going back to hard, physical storage to make sure their information is safe. While traditional USB sticks are portable, most of the time they’re flimsy. While hard drives can store tons of data, they usually aren’t portable and are prone to breaking down sooner or later. The creator behind KUFF is looking to perfect a product that features the best of both worlds.

Kuff is a wearable solid state storage that is worn around the wrist and features capacities from 16GB all the way to a whopping 1TB. An LED is planned for presenting custom information with the help of a developer SDK,. Although the Kickstarter campaign isn’t addressing the product’s clunkiness, it aims to fund the display along with wireless charging. Other features on the docket include connectivity with Bluetooth 4.0, iOS and Android companion apps, USB 3.0, and waterproofing using a nanocoating.

If the creator can put KUFF on a diet, get wireless connectivity and charging down, and continue marketing to media professionals and the DJ circuit, he may have a winner — he’ll just need to hit his goal of $21,000 to find out. One of these wearable storage devices will set backers back $110 with estimated delivery in December 2014.


DEET-free Invisaband helps take the sting out of summer

invisabandsThere’s nothing more annoying than realizing mosquitoes will be joining you while you try to enjoy a cool summer’s night. All we’ve ever had to protect ourselves thus far are unreliable, environmentally damaging chemicals. The DEET-free Invisaband, however, promises the holy grail of mosquito repellent with a geraniol-infused, adjustable microfiber strap that claims 120 hours of reusable mosquito avoidance. It’s a lot less bulky than the Off Clip and doesn’t need batteries. Backers can obtain their very own pack of 5 for $19 USD to avoid ever having to wake up looking like a pepperoni pizza again. The campaign is aiming for $10,000 by September 13th, 2014.

Fitness Smartwatches/Bands

PulseOn connects to your smartphone, but not a chest strap

PulseOnLately, we’ve seen a trend in using products to maximize one’s fitness. Apps and gadgets make it easier to see one’s performance level as well as progress made over time. The PulseOn closely resembles pulse-monitoring watches from companies such as Polar, but requires no chest strap. With this wristband, the heart rate is monitored and that information is sent wirelessly to an accompanying app that helps track progress. In addition, this Finnish gadget keeps a record of fitness intensity, distance, time, and speed for runners. One of these wristbands will cost backers $169 USD. PulseOn hopes to raise $150,000 USD in a two month-long campaign on Indiegogo.